As you know, yesterday USCIS released an official press note indicating that they received about 233,000 petitions and H1B lottery was completed. As of yesterday, USCIS indicated that the premium processing will begin no later than May 11th, 2015.
Today, USCIS released a news alert indicating that the premium processing for H1B Visa 2016 petitions will start from April 27th, 2015.
What does this change in premium processing date mean to everyone in H1B 2016 quota ?
It simply means that, if someone filed their H1B petition in FY 2016 quota under either in masters quota or regular quota and filed it under premium processing their 15 days clock for adjudicating the petition starts from April 27th. Technically, if everything was right and there is no RFE they should have a decision within 15 calendar days starting from April 27th, which would be May 11th.
So, technically, premium processing candidates for FY 2016 should receive their H1B case petition numbers/ receipt notices starting anytime from today via email. They should ideally have H1B case number by April 28th or 29th. USCIS might take some more time to release the case number or receipt notices for the regular processing petitions, as there is no SLA or time commitment.
This clearly tells us that the number of premium processing petitions filed this year were more or less same as last year and not too many filed under premium processing as USCIS anticipated. They adjusted the dates based on the work load they have. Also, with the push in the premium processing dates, hopefully, regular processing candidates petitions are processed slightly faster as well…lets hope so !
Also, they indicated in the press note that no changes to the premium processing petitions filed that are cap-exempt. Their processing continues to stick to the 15 calendar days starting from the day USCIS received the petition with the fee. Also, you may read the below to clarify on the processing times.
What are your thoughts on the H1B processing timelines by USCIS ?
Reference : USCIS Alert on Premium processing